What’s Cooking – Homemade Guacamole by Rachel Green

Pestle & Mortar Practical “Make your own Guacamole”
Pestle & Mortar Practical
“Make your own Guacamole”

Ingredients:

  • 3 avocados , ripe but not bruised
  • Juice 1 large lime
  • Handful of coriander , leaves and stalks chopped, plus a few leaves, roughly chopped, to serve
  • 2 x garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 chilli , red or green, “hot or not so hot” deseeded and finely chopped (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Halve and stone the avocados (saving a stone) and use a spoon or avocado tool to scoop out the flesh into the Mortar and pulverise with the Pestle.
  2. Determine your level of heat and add appropriate chilli
  3. Place unpeeled garlic clove in Garlic press and add to the Mortar,
  4. Add finely chopped coriander
  5. Season with salt and pepper
  6. Use the pestle to roughly mash everything together (continue mashing for a smoother finish)
  7. Scatter with rough cut coriander leaves.
  8. Adjust seasoning, lime juice and garlic to taste.
  9. Serve with crudités or tortilla chips and enjoy the fruits of your labour.
  10. The addition of fine cut onion and tomato add extra flavour and colour.

What’s Cooking – Peas on Toast by Rachel Green

This is a recipe which I had the pleasure of trying during my “The Art of Seasoning” blogger event.

Rachel Green made this for us, as a demonstration on how to use a pestle & mortar.
The recipe is very quick and easy but it taste like £100 meal… really out of this world.
Try it and tell me what you think…

Pestle & Mortar Practical  “Make your own Peas on Toast”
Pestle & Mortar Practical
“Make your own Peas on Toast”

Ingredients:

  • 8 slices French bread
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed slightly
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • 2 tbsp basil pesto
  • 250g frozen peas, thawed and drained
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp half fat crème fraiche
  • 100g feta cheese
  • A handful crushed mint leaves

Instructions:

  1. Brush the bread with the olive oil, and then rub with the garlic.
  2. Preheat a griddle or frying pan until very hot and then add the slices of bread in batches and toast well on both sides.
  3. Spread a little pesto on each bruschetta.
  4. Using either a pestle and mortar or a food processor (crush or pulse) the peas, mint, crème fraiche, add a squeeze of lemon juice and stir in half of the feta cheese and season with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. The pea mixture does not want to be completely smooth, it should have some texture.
  6. Spoon the mixture onto the bruschetta, top with the remaining crumbled feta cheese and sprinkle with a little paprika or cayenne pepper.
  7. This mixture is also lovely spooned over BBQ chicken or used as a dip for crudities.

The Art of Seasoning

02A few weeks ago I had the great pleasure of attending “The Art of Seasoning” blogger event hosted by John Lewis in collaboration with Cole & Mason and the wonderful Rachel Green.

We started with a short briefing and some basic information about seasoning and flavouring, what to do and equally important what to avoid in the kitchen in order to achieve the best taste possible. A few things I did learn:

  • Always use salt at the start of the cooking process; it will incorporate into the other ingredients so much better.
  • Always use pepper at the end. Why? If you use it to soon it will lose its punch and your final dish will have much more “flat” flavour, lacking that peppery punch.
  • Always season your food at the temperature it will be served and eaten… it will help you achieve the correct amount of seasoning if you are not following a precise recipe.

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After we learnt a few basic tricks and had familiarised our self with the Cole & Mason product selection, it was time to get cooking… This part scared me a bit, Mark is the cook as you all know but to be totally honest with you I ended up totally enjoying every moment of it… even when I completely messed up my mayo and I had to start from the beginning, in public with people watching me, it was still fun… and to top it off I did learn a lot, I couldn’t wait to get beck home and impress Mark with my new found knowledge!

Wanna be a basil mayo
Wanna be a basil mayo

So we had all been set a few simple challenges. Standing there in my little kitchen I was told I needed to prepare a guacamole, a mayo and a pesto, “gulp”, I do believe my heart was racing and there was definite evidence of glowing . To make matters worse Rachel didn’t spoil us with a recipe, just a rough list of ingredients and something called a Pestle and Mortar, of which I have seen used but never used. So we all knew more or less what was supposed to go into a pestle and mortal… but we didn’t really have a clue about questions like should it be more or less of this ingredient… This was stressful for me but astonishingly for me real fun! All of us had the same ingredients but as we all used slightly different amounts of the ingredients and of course seasoned it to our own particular tastes inevitably all our creations tasted totally different.  This was the most fantastic part… trying what others had created and comparing it to our own final product. 8 people in the room, 8 dishes which have the same name and are made from the same ingredients but ALL tasting totally different. What an eye opening…

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After a few hours of crashing and grinding in our pestle & mortars energy levels were running low… as a reward we were treated to a fantastic lunch. Rachel had prepared for us a beautiful light salmon, roasted lamb and selection of roasted vegetables and fresh salads. If this wasn’t enough she served a totally unexpected pudding – black pepper cake with mulled fruit and fresh mint tea.

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It was a great event, well organised and full of surprises. What a great way of learning something new.

A big thank you to John Lewis, Cole & Mason and of course Rachel Green… and all the other bloggers who attended this great event:

Katja from Ifhipscouldlie 

Jacintha from Urban Pixxels

Georgie from Georgina Olive

Poppy from Poppy Loves

Chris from Tikichris

Rachel from Rachel Phipps

Lebinh from The Food Connoisseur